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VIC Police must make punishment fit the crime for lead-footed drivers

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Kamikaze_Kawasaki, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. This is an opinion piece that was in Sunday's Age. I cannot believe the author is comparing speeding by less than 10kms to assault.


    IMAGINE for a moment that you're walking down a suburban street when a complete stranger approaches and, without warning, strikes you, sending you crashing to the ground. Police are called, charges are laid and judgment looms.
    You're not looking for your assailant to spend years in prison - after all, nothing was broken and you regained your composure pretty quickly - but he needs to be punished in some way so that he doesn't repeat the offence, possibly causing injury or worse next time.
    But then the culprit writes a letter to authorities asking to be forgiven because the attack was out of character and no real harm was done. And, simple as that, all charges are dropped. You're left with your bruises and an unpleasant memory; he gets off scot-free.
    That's pretty much what's happening with many speeding drivers these days, one minute breaking the law, the next being forgiven because they simply sent a letter asking to be. No wonder speed on our roads is a worsening problem.
    More than 1.34 million drivers were caught speeding last financial year, according to latest published figures. It's an unacceptably high number, but not the least bit surprising to anyone who's spent more than five minutes on our roads recently. Red lights and speed limits are apparently discretionary to many these days.
    The most disturbing figure to emerge though is the number of motorists let off speeding fines even though they were guilty: 136,347 in the past three years, according to police who, in an astonishing display of generosity, forgave speedsters because they were only a little bit over the limit.
    How much over? Up to 10 kilometres an hour, which is double the difference between hitting a pedestrian or successfully braking to avoid them. At least, that's what the TAC ads tell us. Remember their extremely confronting commercial that featured a body spinning through their air and ended with the admonition, "Wipe off 5"?
    There's no denying we've made wonderful progress in our fight against the road toll. That's been well documented. But there's also little doubt we continue to be dogged by two massive problems that won't go away: drink-driving and speeding.
    We deal with the former by applying the law as strictly as we can. There's even a well-worn slogan that reinforces the approach: "Only a little bit over? You bloody idiot." The message is clear - if you're going to drive over .05 we'll hit you with the full force of the law. So why don't we adopt the same approach to speeding?
    It turns out that if a motorist is caught driving at less than 10km/h over the limit, admits the offence and hasn't been caught any time in the previous two years, they stand a very good chance of being let off. No fines, no loss of points. About half of those who wrote to police in the past three years putting that case beat the rap. Why police give speedsters this escape route is beyond me. It's essentially a get-out-of-jail free card and you can renew it every two years.
    While I accept that there has to be some sort of review process, does it really have to be this generous? What signal does it send? Instead of going easy on speeding drivers, I'd be going harder. Unless we make the absolute observance of speed limits an article of faith, we'll continue to struggle with the road toll.
    Bannockburn father Norm Robinson knows this better than most. He lost his 19-year-old son Luke in a high-speed crash in 2010 and now dedicates much of his time to educating kids and parents about the dangers of speeding. He's also started campaigning for a more hard-nosed approach to the problem. More power to him.
    Like me, Mr Robinson can't understand why police are being so lenient with motorists driving up to 10km/h over the speed limit. As he says: "People can find themselves 5km/h over the speed limit and it's a genuine mistake, but at 10km/h over you know you're speeding. We shouldn't be letting them off."
    If there is to be a margin for error it should surely be no more than 5km/h. Only in the most extraordinary circumstances - say, avoiding an accident or engine malfunction - should speeding of any kind be tolerated.
    Mr Robinson would go even further, stripping drivers of their licences for three months for being 10km/h over the limit and an extra month for every kilometre over that.
    Whatever you think of his plan, which he hopes to put to government soon, one thing is certain: forgiving speeding drivers is not the way to reduce the road toll. Police should put them in the same category as drink-drivers. Because they're bloody idiots too.

    Bruce Guthrie is a former editor of The Age and The Sunday Age.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/police-must-make-punishment-fit-the-crime-for-leadfooted-drivers-20121208-2b2ee.html#ixzz2EddTW9Jw

  2. Dafuq-did-i-just-read-meme.
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Wow!
    As well equate r ape with not returning your library books on time.

    But seriously, wrong forum. Should be in Politics etc.
  4. what exactly does "speed is a worsening problem" mean... where's he get those figures? According to the TAC... who he seems to trust... lives have been saved by reduced speeding. According to Vicpol speed cameras have reduced speeding.... he's just straight making shit up.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. My understanding of having a speeding ticket written off (in Victoria at least) is that (a) you can't have been over the speed limit by more than 10km/h (b) you have to admit you done wrong, and (c) your licence must have been "in good order" for the past three years (ie, no other driving offences).

    Having the ticker written off is a reward for being a law abiding driver on 1094 out of every 1095 days (and for only a minor offence on the 1095th day). So I thought Bruce Guthrie's article was way over the top, and I'm still wondering what brought it on.
  6. They are attempting to compete with the herald sun by trying to appear controversial
  7. Arghhhh what a retardedly undeducated, unfounded and melodramatic bunch of nonsense?! I can't believe the Age would publish such a sensationalist piece of #$@#%...and this Norm Robinson bloke just won't go away!! His inexperienced son wrote himself off at a speed well well above10k's an hour and now he wants to crucify anyone that goes >5k's over. Let go of that bone and move on mate.....
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Honestly, giving them airtime validates it. Best solution is to ignore the peasants.
  9. Well, Bruce Guthrie wins the "Uninformed, Opinionated Knob of The Year" Award.

    Other countries are raising speed limits and experiencing less accidents, but old Brucie wants us to go back to the days of yore, where motor vehicles could not travel at above 5mph and had to be preceded by a man waving a flag and blowing a whistle.
  10. Wrote to the age. Asked them if they hire ANY retard, or if u have to be a special kind of divorced from reality retard.
  11. Not in urban areas they aren't.
  12. Wrong on so many levels, but let's pick some low hanging fruit.

    1. Police do not set the punishment. Police enforce the law. The courts and the politicians who write the law set the punishment.

    2. He quotes the father of someone killed in a high speed crash. If it was high speed, it was not within the 10km/h margin that he is getting worked up about, so regulating speed down by an additional 5 or 10km/h would make no difference to these outcomes.
  13. Wow, they must have tested out their latest brainwashing method on poor Bruce.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. Seem to remember this dick was once the editor of the Herald Sun . so no real surprise
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Absolute fanboi of the police state methodology, and always has been. At least he's consistent - he takes this attitude to every subject he touches. Too much enforcement is never enough for Brucie.
  16. Only read the first couple of sentences, before I made up my mind that who ever wrote it is an idio7............low level speeding the same as assult? bull dust!

    Having everyone travel at the same speed even if its a higher than posted speed IMO is safer................
  17. Opinions are like farts.
    The only ones you can put up with are your own
  18.  Top
  19. robinson is the prick holding all
    the traffic up because he s driving
    5 k under in the right lane .

    doubt wether anyones geting forgiven
    in SA.